SteelAsia to become PH’s first steel plant to use AI   

SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., the Philippines’ top steel producer, is equipping its sprawling green steel mill in Calaca, Batangas with German-developed artificial intelligence (AI) that will provide a more efficient way to boost output without increasing its carbon footprint.

The Yao-owned company said in a statement over the weekend that project will be  made possible after SteelAsia signed an agreement
with Germany’s SMS Group on March 3 this year for EAF Performance Improvement Partnership for Calaca (EPICA). Under the agreement, SMS Group will equip its Calaca steel plant with the latest artificial intelligence system for process automation and digitalization.

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AI DEPLOYMENT AGREEMENT AT STEELASIA, CALACA, BATANGAS PLANT -- Shown in photo are Benjamin Yao, SteelAsia Chairman and CEODr. Pino Tese, Chief Sales Officer, India and Asia Pacific Region of SMS group after the signing of the agreement on March 3, 2023.

SMS will deploy the latest combustion technology in the electric arc furnace or EAF as part of Project EPICA. The pollution control system will also be upgraded to support this project.

Engineers and technicians at the SteelAsia plant will be given extensive training on the use of all AI-assisted technologies. With the leading technology expertise from SMS Group, SteelAsia’s Calaca Mill will have higher energy efficiency, allowing it
to increase its output and cut emissions as a result of the new AI and state-of-the-art burner system.

“We are proud to have Calaca as the Philippines’ first steel plant to be equipped with AI,” said Dr. Pino Tese, Chief Sales Officer, India and Asia Pacific Region of SMS group.  “The use of renewable energies and efficiency improvements for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, equally supported by recycling, is a vital factor for a sustainable circular economy,” he added.

“It also means higher green steel production for the country as Calaca uses 100 per cent renewable energy for steelmaking,” Benjamin Yao, SteelAsia Chairman and CEO added.

The SteelAsia Calaca Mill produces up to 450K tons of rebar annually, which in today’s value is roughly P18 billion. EPICA improvements are expected to increase output in anticipation of higher rebar requirements for infrastructure and housing projects.

SteelAsia operates five other manufacturing plants in Bulacan, Cebu, Davao and Misamis Oriental. It is set to open a seventh plant this year in Compostela, Cebu and increase its output from two million metric tons of steel rebars to three million metric tons annually.

SteelAsia is the Philippines' largest steel manufacturer and has been investing to increase Philippine steel self-reliance and reduce import dependence.